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Athletics & Recreation

Recruiting the Elite: Olympic Hopeful Rower Chooses Trent University

Trent's riverside campus and world-class rowing program wows Peterborough native Grace VandenBroek

Grade 12 student Grace VandenBroek had Stanford, Harvard, Princeton and many other top-tier American and Canadian universities actively pursuing her after an impressive showing at the world junior rowing championships this past summer, but the young rower had already chosen her postsecondary home – Trent University.

As one of Canada’s top young rowers, Ms. VandenBroek was inspired by and drawn to the opportunity to remain in her hometown of Peterborough, and to continue training with Carol Love, Rowing Canada’s NextGen Hub lead coach and one of the best rowing coaches in the country.

“I really like the idea of having Carol as my coach as I continue to develop and hone my rowing skills and experience,” says the 17-year-old, who was scouted by Coach Love as a potential rower when she was in grade nine, and has been training with her since. “With the one-on-one coaching, Trent’s varsity program really focuses on the whole athlete. I like Trent’s size, the close proximity to home, and Trent offers a nice balance of rowing and academics. I love the feeling of the campus.”

Thrilled with Ms. VandenBroek’s decision to attend Trent, Coach Love says she’s excited for the opportunity to continue to guide her development.

“Trent will give Grace the rich environment a small and outstanding university experience can offer,” says Coach Love. “The supports and balance of home, the community and the University will enable her to excel in the goals she has set for herself.”

“We are extremely pleased that Grace has chosen Trent University for the next stage of both her academic career and her high performance athlete development pathway,” said Deborah Bright-Brundle, director of Athletics at Trent. “Grace is an exceptional person and an outstanding athlete and we are so excited to have her join our team as a Trent Excalibur student-athlete and also as a Rowing Canada NextGen Hub high performance athlete. We look forward to having Grace attend Trent this fall and we are very honoured that she will row wearing the Green and White.”

Although she’s only rowed for about three years, Ms. VandenBroek has had impressive success with the sport to date, catching the attention of the international rowing world. This summer, in her first international competition, she took home a bronze medal in the women's double at the World Junior Rowing Championships in Trakai, Lithuania. Ms. VandenBroek was also named Rowing Canada Aviron 2017 Junior Athlete of the Year.

Last October, Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) named Trent as one of five NextGen Hub university partners selected to identify and train high-performance rowers to compete for Canada at the highest levels of the sport.

Trent’s storied history of excellence in rowing and its long-standing partnership with the Peterborough Rowing Club were major factors in the designation as an RCA NextGen Hub. The program provides optimal coach-to-athlete ratios, extensive performance planning and enhanced technical coaching capacity. Sport science and sport medicine support will also be embedded within these daily training environments.

Future Olympians will benefit from the magnificent Otonabee River rowing setting and state-of-the-art training facilities at the Trent Athletics Centre, all while studying at Ontario’s top undergraduate university.

Posted on February 5, 2018

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